In various parts of the world, the hijab, a traditional head covering worn by Muslim women, holds significant cultural and religious importance. While it is a personal choice for many, there are several countries where wearing the hijab is mandatory by law. Let’s delve into these nations, their demographics, the inception of hijab laws, and whether tourists are expected to adhere to these regulations.


When one thinks of hijab rules, Iran often comes to mind. With a population exceeding 80 million people, Iran’s female population stands at approximately 49.7% of the total. Since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Iran has enforced strict dress codes, making the hijab mandatory for all women in public spaces. 

Even Tourists visiting Iran are expected to adhere to the country’s dress code, which includes wearing a headscarf for women. However, the enforcement may vary depending on the region and the discretion of authorities. Generally, foreign visitors are advised to respect local customs and dress modestly out of cultural sensitivity.


Afghanistan, with a population exceeding 41.13 million, is a country where the hijab is mandatory for women. Following the Taliban’s rise to power, strict Islamic laws, including dress codes, were imposed. While there have been efforts to relax some of these restrictions in recent years, the hijab remains a cultural norm and a symbol of modesty for Afghan women.

The Taliban’s morality police also enforce hijab and mahram requirements when women visit public places, offices, and educational institutes through checkpoints and inspections. The Vice and Virtue Ministry plays a significant role in overseeing and implementing these regulations.

Saudi Arabia

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the heartland of Islam, the birthplace of its history, and the center of Islamic devotion and prayer. The country is dedicated to preserving Islamic tradition across all facets of government and society.

It is where the Prophet Muhammad provided guidance, including the practice of hijab. Following the Grand Mosque seizure in 1979, it became mandatory for women to wear a veil in public.

Women were traditionally required to wear the abaya, a loose-fitting robe, and cover their hair with a hijab when in public. This has been enforced less strictly in recent years, and women now have more freedom in their choice of attire.

Men have a less restrictive dress code but are still expected to dress modestly in public. The traditional headdress for Saudi men is called a keffiyeh or ghutra, which is often worn with a thobe, a long robe. 

While there is no legal mandate to wear an abaya or hijab, it is recommended to dress modestly out of respect for local customs if you are visiting Saudi Arabia. This includes covering shoulders and knees and potentially carrying a chiffon hijab when visiting religious sites. It’s also worth noting that in certain religious sites, appropriate attire may be required for entry.


Iraq, with a predominantly Muslim population of 44.5 million, values Islam’s influence on its societal structure. Although there is no nationwide law enforcing the hijab, it is culturally anticipated, especially in conservative areas. For tourists, there is no strict dress code, but modesty is advised to honor local traditions, particularly when visiting religious sites or conservative regions. Currently, there is no specific dress code in Iraq, but dressing modestly, covering the legs, and respecting local customs are recommended.


Indonesia, home to the world’s largest Muslim population, embraces a moderate interpretation of Islam. The hijab, introduced as part of Islamic revivalism post-1979, is not legally required. Indonesian women may choose to wear the hijab as an expression of their faith and cultural identity. Tourists are not obligated to wear the hijab but are encouraged to dress modestly, especially in religious or rural areas, to show respect for local customs.

Here are countries that have legally banned burqas:

  • Tunisia
  • Austria
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Belgium
  • Tajikistan
  • Bulgaria
  • Cameroon
  • Chad
  • Republic of the Congo
  • Gabon
  • Netherlands
  • China (in Xinjiang Region)
  • Morocco
  • Sri Lanka
  • Switzerland
مارس 31, 2024 — Rifatun Jannat

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